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The Post-Racial MystiqueMedia and Race in the Twenty-First Century$
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Catherine R. Squires

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762899

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762899.001.0001

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Welcome to Post-Racial America

(p.1) Introduction
The Post-Racial Mystique

Catherine R. Squires

NYU Press

This introductory chapter briefly analyzes the emergence of the term “post-racial,” paying special attention to the discussions of the meaning of race—particularly the meaning of black identity—which were widespread in the 1980s and 1990s. In the explosion of black media and celebrity culture of the 1980s and the culture wars, commentators from a wide variety of media, political, and scholarly venues pondered the meaning of blackness in the so-called “post-civil rights era.” In the explosion, various issues emerged regarding considerations of law, immigration, religion, education, and politics. Post-racial rhetoric however surged only recently when Barack Obama was elected as president. Across the nation, pundits and politicians, bloggers and celebrities made tentative and dismissive statements about the declining significance of race. But as the last few years have demonstrated, racism and racial inequalities persist and in some areas, such as wealth and health, have deepened.

Keywords:   post-racial, race, black identity, black media, celebrity culture, post-civil rights era, Barack Obama, racism, racial inequalities

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